Saturday, September 30, 2023
September 30, 2023

FLETCHER, Elizabeth Ann nee Atkinson

Elizabeth Ann Fletcher nee Atkinson
December 24, 1936 ~ April 30, 2023

Nurture and nature united generously in Elizabeth, born in Vancouver BC on Christmas Eve to Jean and Lyle Atkinson. From go, Elizabeth engaged with the world from their loving home on Marguerite Street that valued curiosity, learning, and integrity. Early formative years seeded lifelong interests in travel, gardening, cooking, sewing, and hobnobbing. Her childhood dreams of becoming a teacher and mother were manifested with great success.

As a thriving youth with an outgoing nature and tight friend group, highlights were playing tennis, ballet lessons on the Hotel Vancouver rooftop, and interviewing Johnny Mathis for the school paper. After graduating from Magee High School (1954) and UBC Education-Elementary (1958), Elizabeth went on her first grand adventure aboard a steamship from Montreal to France, touring the UK and Western Europe with a girlfriend.

In summer 1960, she said “I do” to Richard Fletcher and made a home at 3819 Marine Drive to raise two young children in a tumultuous life filled with Julia Child-inspired dinner parties and European sports cars with her ambitious stock broker husband. Dissolution of the marriage in 1978 was a devastating blow for Elizabeth both emotionally and financially. With trademark stoic determination and loving parental support she forged a new life at 4049 West 39th, becoming a beloved teacher and remarkable single mother.

Elizabeth was a lively, generous, and brave woman with endless sartorial style. Her classrooms were always vibrant and enlivening places of exploration. She championed field trips, cooking classes, and school gardens; co-authored a guide to incorporating gardening into all subjects, Turning the Earth, that is in curriculums worldwide. Never happy doing “boom all”, she pursued passions in the outdoors, music, reading, fashion, and volunteering. Her enthusiastic energy inspired many and a splash of mischievous wit often accompanied her warm ever-present smile. 

Elizabeth particularly came alive on the travels that fuelled her curiosity and spark, just as reading did. Brighton teacher’s exchange. Lunenburg walks. Chesterman Beach sunsets. London theatre. Venetian gelato. Cuban organoponicos. National Trust gardens. Indian Wells match points. Pacific Northwest tidal pools. Parisian boutiques. NYC recitals. Scottish muirs. Golden Gate sights. Thai banana roti. Oaxacan markets. Victoria bookstores. Countless treasured moments created impressions (and usually a photo) for her and her posse of steady travel companions.

Upon retirement she transplanted her life (along with many plants) into her dream home at 105 Village Terrace on Salt Spring Island, with its heritage orchard, natural architecture, and beautiful outlook, to be with her partner Ron. An active member of Salt Spring’s Gardening Club and Basketry Guild, her Reddy apples and wickerworks were Fall Fair prize winners. Village Terrace was a welcoming destination for friends and jumping off point for travels afar. In 2017, declining health brought her back to Vancouver, settling at South Granville Park Lodge nearby Wendy, her closest companion.

Elizabeth passed peacefully at home in Vancouver, cheek-to-cheek with Wendy, holding Chris’ hand, and sitting alongside Wade. Her final breath was a radiant starburst of love and in the silence of her absence that radiance lives on. Her legacy will be honoured by her children Christopher and Wendy, son-in-law Wade Thomas, and by grandchildren Ignatius Torgerson, Ella Jean Fletcher, Louis Fletcher, and Charlotte Fletcher, and by those fortunate to share the path with her.
~ Thank you so much for being you, Mum.


  1. Hello Wendy & Christopher
    I live @ 112 Village Terrace SSIs & we met a few times during the the time prior to your mother moving to Granville Park Lodge in Vancouver .
    I was saddened to read her obituary in the Driftwood today. But remembered what a delightful woman she was. So enthusiastic!
    The obituary in the paper touched me as I realized how frequently our paths must have crossed unbeknownst to either of us during her lifetime.
    Magee High School, UBC, Hotel Vancouver, Marine Dr home (where I lived) & W 39th Avenue (where my parents lived) & S. Granville Park Lodge where my father lived before he died.
    Sending you both sincere condolences on your great loss.
    Phyllis Coleman


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